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TOPEKA—The 4th Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene April 6 to interview three nominees to fill a district magistrate judge vacancy in Osage County created by Judge Shannon Rush's February 1 resignation.

The 4th Judicial District is composed of Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, and Osage counties.

Interview schedule

9 a.m.

Tonya Vignery, attorney, Vassar

9:30 a.m.

Lori Breshears, paralegal and victim witness coordinator, Coffey County Attorney's Office, Burlington

10 a.m.

Joseph Falls, attorney, Lawrence

Interviews and appointment

The nominating commission will convene to interview nominees at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 6, at:

Lyndon Community Center
204 Topeka Ave.

Interviews are open to the public. After the interviews, the commission will appoint a district magistrate judge.

Anyone who attends in person must follow public health requirements set out in Supreme Court administrative order. These include answering questions at check-in about symptoms of or possible exposure to COVID-19, wearing a face mask while in the building, and maintaining 6 feet of physical distance from others.

Any person with a disability who requires accommodation to access the nominating commission meeting should notify the judicial branch ADA coordinator as early as possible, preferably 10 working days before the meeting date:

ADA Coordinator
TTY at 711

Eligibility requirements

Kansas law requires that this district magistrate judge be:

  • a resident of Osage County at the time of taking office and while holding office;

  • a graduate of a high school, a secondary school, or the equivalent; and

  • either a lawyer admitted to practice in Kansas or able to pass an examination given by the Supreme Court to become certified within 18 months.

Term of office

After serving one year in office, the new magistrate judge must stand for a retention vote in the next general election to remain in the position. If retained, the incumbent will serve a four-year term.

Nominating commission

The 4th Judicial District Nominating Commission consists of Justice Eric Rosen as the nonvoting chair; Craig Cole, Garnett; Anthony Mersman, Greeley; Phyllis Gardner and Janet Walsh, Lyndon; Heather Landon, Ianne Dickinson, and Forrest Lowry, Ottawa; and Timothy Johnson, Waverly.


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